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A Sweet Treat

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Monday February 27, 2012
POSTED BY: Lauren Valente

The cold winter days and nights (although not lately!) stir a very strong desire for me to stay in and enjoy the pleasure of being home. That means turning on the oven and making something that is sweet and comforting. On a partially cold Saturday afternoon, I decided to try my hand at cinnamon buns. They came out wonderful! Don’t be intimidated, you just need to allow yourself time to let the dough proof - and after that you are just moments away from a sweet cinnamon treat with the added bonus of making your home smell AMAZING! Here is a recipe for cinnamon buns adapted from Peter Reinhart´s The Bread Baker´s Apprentice.

Yield >>> Makes 8 to 12 large or 12 to 16 smaller cinnamon or sticky buns

Time >>> 15 minutes mixing; 3 1/2 hours fermentation, shaping and proofing; 20 to 40 minutes baking.

Ingredients:
6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter or margarine
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast (Instant yeast contains about 25% more living cells per spoonful than active dry yeast, regardless of the brand. Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or fast-rising).

1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature.

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or any other spices you want to use, cardamom, ginger, allspice, etc.)

            White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns (which you will find below.)

 Directions:1. Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand); if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast. Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

2. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

3. Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Proceed as shown in the photo below for shaping the buns.

(Transcription: (A) Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don’t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. (B) Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and (C) roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.)

 4. line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren’t touching but are close to one another.

 5. Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

 6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns.

 7. Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky buns 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

 8. Cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving. For the sticky buns, cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove them by flipping them over into another pan. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving...I had a very hard time waiting this long!

 

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns  Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)

  

Enjoy!

One more thing - now every time I see our fabric Glyph Velvet , I am going to think of this sweet treat! See the resemblance? 

TAGS:  Lauren Valente, Cinnamon Buns, food, winter

 

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